Catholic speaker discusses male, female genius, complementarity of the sexes


The question of the era is why humans were made male and female, said a Catholic speaker and author Nov. 3 to a group of Franciscan University students in a talk titled, “Male and Female, He Created Them.”

Deborah Savage, who has a doctorate in religious studies, explained the differences between the female and male genius to the crowd gathered in Christ the King Chapel.

Previously the male gender was considered normative; hence, women acted like males to be perceived as normal, she said. However, in reality, neither male nor female is normative over the other; a man or woman does not need to act like the other to be normal, said Savage.

“A man’s orientation toward things is clearly a part of God’s design,” Savage said when describing the male genius.

As a newborn, the males are more inclined toward looking at things versus female newborns, who are more inclined to looking at faces. The male’s appreciation for things is a gift that is shown in their ability to understand and take things apart, she said.

Females are more inclined toward persons, Savage said.

“Your job (as a woman) is to help your husband to live,” she said.

She said that the Hebrew word “ezer,” used to describe Eve, is for a helper, not a servant or slave, and that a woman is meant to be a divine aid for her husband.

Savage said that women and men are complementary and equal, but with different geniuses and that it is their job to develop their geniuses and share them without fear. Mary and Joseph are prototypes for this, she said.

Julie Deurbin, a freshman multimedia major, said, “It definitely gave me some insight that I needed because it is a topic I constantly think about.”

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